Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Robert Waterton

Male - 1425

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  • Name Robert Waterton 
    Birth of Methley, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Death 17 Jan 1425  Methley, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Siblings 1 sibling 
    Person ID I19265  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of AP, Ancestor of DDB, Ancestor of DGH, Ancestor of LD, Ancestor of LMW, Ancestor of TSW
    Last Modified 3 Dec 2023 

    Father Richard Waterton 
    Mother Juliana 
    Family ID F1069  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Joan Everingham   d. Aft 15 Sep 1399 
    Marriage Bef Aug 1398  [5, 6
    Family ID F17965  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 7 Sep 2020 

    Family 2 Cecily Fleming   d. Bef 1422 
    Marriage Between 1399 and 1408  [3, 7, 8
    +1. Joan Waterton   d. Aft 18 Oct 1434
    Family ID F11615  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 7 Sep 2020 

    Family 3 Margaret Clarell   d. Aft 1465 
    Marriage 1422  [3, 6, 9
    Family ID F17964  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 7 Sep 2020 

  • Notes 
    • Master of the Horse, Master of the Hounds, Keeper of Pontefract Castle, Bailiff of Hatfield.

      He was an important aide of Henry Bolingbroke, later Henry IV. Beginning as an esquire in the early 1390s, he accompanied Henry to the Baltic in 1392. (Also present on that expedition: TNH ancestor John Waterton, his brother.) He was one of the custodians of Richard II, he played a major role in the defense of the North against the Percys, and he was an executor of Henry’s will. Under Henry V he received fewer offices and appointments but was still entrusted with major tasks, including charge of certain Scottish hostages including James I. He is mentioned in Shakespeare’s Richard II, act 2, scene 1, as one of those who sailed with Bolingbroke from the continent in 1399, although in fact he was already in England and was one of the first to join Henry at Ravenspur.

      Both his parentage and his marital history have been subject to considerable confusion. J. W. Walker’s “The Burghs of Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire and the Watertons of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire” (The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 30:314, 1931) claimed that he was married only once, to Cecily Fleming, and assigned his first and third wives to his son, also Robert Waterton. This has been thoroughly refuted by subsequent research; Robert Waterton was married first to Joan Everingham, then to Cecily Fleming, then to Margaret Clarell. His namesake son Robert Waterton married Beatrice Clifford. This is what we read in the (most recently updated in 2006) Robert Waterton entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and in other recent scholarship. Of course (at least as of today, 7 Sep 2020), the Robert Waterton Wikipedia article promulgates Walker’s 89-year-old mistake, because Wikipedia. (While at the same time extensively referencing Douglas Richardson’s 2011 Magna Carta Ancestry, which gets it right!)

      Brice Clagett, 4 Jan 2005, post to soc.genealogy.medieval:

      This message reviews various versions of the parentage of Robert Waterton (d. 1425), the father of Joan, Lady Welles.

      Walker’s article in Yorkshire Arch. Journal vol. 30 says that Robert was the third son of William Waterton, of Waterton, and his wife, Elizabeth Newmarch. (To compound the confusion, the article at p. 368 says that Robert was third son of JOHN Waterton, but the pedigree at the end shows that the statement on p. 368 was a careless error.) If the pedigree is accurate, Robert Waterton had royal ancestry through his mother, daughter of Roger Mewmarch of Womersley, Yorkshire, who was son of Adam Newmarch and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Roger de Mowbray, 5th feudal Baron of Mowbray.

      Hall’s article in Thoresby Soc. Publications vol. 15 expresses doubt as to where Robert fits into the family, but leans towards the view that he was son of John Waterton, son of William Waterton (who according to the Walker article married Elizabeth Newmarch). This seems more comfortable chronologically, because according to the Walker article William Waterton was alive though not yet of full age in 1316, and Robert was not born until the 1360s.

      Roskell’s History of Parliament sub John Waterton says that it is “demonstrably untrue” that Robert Waterton was son of William, citing a royal pardon of 1398 which says Robert was son of Richard Waterton of Waterton. Walker’s article shows a Richard Waterton (who may have lived at Waterton though he was not the owner of the manor), fl. 1379, dead in 1392, who was a second cousin once removed of William Waterton who (allegedly) married Elizabeth Newmarch.

      ODNB sub Robert Waterton says that Robert was a son of William Waterton and Elizabeth Newmarch, and was “apparently the cousin of Sir Hugh Waterton.” But the same oracle, sub Sir Hugh Waterton, says that Hugh was the second son of William Waterton and Elizabeth Newmarch -- and was a cousin of Robert! Obviously both entries cannot be right.

      What a mess. As far as we can see at the moment, the most likely version is that of the 1398 pardon cited by Roskell. Perhaps Roskell is a bit dogmatic concluding that it is “demonstrably untrue” that Robert was son of William -- surely this would not be the only time that a 14th-century pardon was mistaken as to the name of the pardonee’s father -- but it seems to be the most concrete evidence that we have.

  • Sources 
    1. [S142] Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families by Douglas Richardson. Salt Lake City, 2013.

    2. [S128] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant ed. Vicary Gibbs, H. A. Doubleday, Duncan Warrand, Howard de Walden, Geoffrey H. White and R. S. Lea. 2nd edition. 14 volumes (1-13, but volume 12 spanned two books), London, The St. Catherine Press, 1910-1959. Volume 14, "Addenda & Corrigenda," ed. Peter W. Hammond, Gloucestershire, Sutton Publishing, 1998.

    3. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004-ongoing.

    4. [S4345] Douglas Richardson, 27 Apr 2015, post to soc.genealogy.medieval., date only.

    5. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004-ongoing., year only.

    6. [S4345] Douglas Richardson, 27 Apr 2015, post to soc.genealogy.medieval.

    7. [S4344] Brice Clagett, 29 Dec 2004, post to soc.genealogy.medieval.

    8. [S4343] Brice Clagett, 29 Dec 2004, post to soc.genealogy.medieval.

    9. [S4343] Brice Clagett, 29 Dec 2004, post to soc.genealogy.medieval., says "in 1422 or 1423".